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Red Jumpsuit Apparatus guitarist cuts through noise to help find missing man in Middleburg woods

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A guitar player for a nationally known rock band was instrumental Monday in finding a missing man in Middleburg.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office posted an alert Monday, looking for David Willard, and Randy Winter, rhythm guitarist for the Middleburg-based band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, sprang into action.

He learned investigators were scouring some woods near his home with ATVs and a chopper and because he is very familiar with the area, he offered a helping hand.

Winter said he thought his highly trained ears, tuned by decades as a musician, might help.

When he was out searching, he waited for the ATVs to pass so there wouldn’t be motor noises to hamper his ability to hear.

“I was like, ‘Well, I hear something, but they don’t seem to be responding,’ so I kind of hang out there for a minute and it was like an uncomfortable minute just standing there waiting because I know my wife went further,” he said.


Winter said he stopped searchers and alerted them to the noise he’d heard.

“They kind of looked at me a little disbelief and apprehensive because time is so valuable in a search, and I pointed out I definitely heard it,” Winter said. “They stopped their ATVs and the sound didn’t happen again.”

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